ICRA 2012 Paper Abstract


Paper WeB110.3

Catalano, Manuel (Faculty of Engineering - University of Pisa), Grioli, Giorgio (UniversitÓ di Pisa), Garabini, Manolo (UniversitÓ di Pisa), Belo, Felipe (University of Pisa), Di Basco, Andrea (UniversitÓ di Pisa), Tsagarakis, Nikolaos (Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia), Bicchi, Antonio (University of Pisa)

Implementing a Variable Impedance Actuator

Scheduled for presentation during the Interactive Session "Interactive Session WeB-1" (WeB110), Wednesday, May 16, 2012, 10:30−11:00, Ballroom D

2012 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, May 14-18, 2012, RiverCentre, Saint Paul, Minnesota, USA

This information is tentative and subject to change. Compiled on June 19, 2018

Keywords Compliant Joint/Mechanism, Compliance and Impedance Control, Physical Human-Robot Interaction


Recent robotic research recognized the advantages that Variable Impedance Actuators would yield to a new generation of robots, rendering them adapt to many different tasks of everyday life. In this work we present the development of a Variable Damping mechanism, designed to integrate within a modular Variable Stiffness Actuator platform to realize a complete Variable Impedance Actuation unit. After a short discussion on the possible implementation strategies, the different operation principles and realization methods of damping systems are initially introduced, and a detailed description of the mechatronics and functionalities of a novel variable damping unit follows. In particular, the proposed implementation adopts an innovative aperture mechanism, similar to the light shutter of a camera, to engage a rotating chamber of high-viscosity silicon oil. Finally, some experiments are shown, to validate and char- acterize the system.



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